Categories > Books > Phantom of the Opera


by Ariel_Tempest 1 review

Originally done for 30_lemons. All Raoul wants to do is watch Christine perform, but a persistant little voice in his head keeps questioning his motives, and the voice isn't his. Slash.

Category: Phantom of the Opera - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Horror - Characters: Erik, Raoul, Other - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2005-10-12 - Updated: 2005-10-12 - 2173 words - Complete

It chafed, really, to see Christine back in her role as Sièbel. Still, for all of that, Raoul had to admit he was enjoying the production. The familiar darkness and warmth of the theater surrounded him and if he lay his opera glasses on the shelf he could close his eyes and imagine every detail of the stage as the music swept around him. Here was Marguerite, here Mephisto; here Christine crossed the stage in her boy's clothing, adding her newly budding brilliance to the strains of harmony. Alright, so perhaps she'd been more brilliant at the gala, stepping from trousers into Marguerite's dressing, but she'd always had just the touch Sièbel needed. If only she would speak to him again...

"She does make a wonderful boy, doesn't she?" A voice whispered in his ear. "No wonder you're so attracted."

He jerked upright, eyes starting and looked around him in a frantic swirl of motion for the speaker. There was no one there, just as there had been no one there the night he'd heard the voice, the same voice as now, speaking in Christine's dressing room. He frowned, peering into the surrounding shadows and hissed softly. "I don't see why her ability to be boyish should attract me, Monsieur, nor do I see why you should be so cowardly as to hold this conversation from the shadows. Come out where I can see you if you wish to speak with me."

The voice chuckled, seemingly in the seat just to his right. "But I'm not in the shadows, Monsieur. I'm right here."

Raoul looked askance at the seat. He then looked once more around the box, head moving in a series of short, confused jerks, and then back at the seat. "How is it, then, that I hear you, but I don't see you?"

"I don't wish to be seen by such a liar as yourself, Monsieur."

"Liar?" Bridling, Raoul half stood, then thought better of it. If he stood, someone out there in the audience might notice the movement and look up to see him arguing with thin air. "You're bold to say so, Monsieur, especially as I am not the one who spends his time in women's dressing rooms and hiding in plain sight! And what is this you've told Christine about you being the Angel of Music, sent from her father? I've seen you, Monsieur, don't forget! That was you in that chapel! Now, in what manner, then, am I a liar?"

"You tell Christine you love her," the voice replied calmly, "but in reality, you love the character she portrays. You do not want Christine, you want Sièbel."

Raoul gaped at the velvet cushioning next to him, not in the least bit caring that he looked like an idiot. "What?'re mad! You're absolutely round the bend!"

"Am I?" A low chuckle filled the box, slipping around Raoul like a conspiratorial arm. "So you're saying that, as you sat here listening to her with your eyes closed so...innocently, were seeing Christine behind your eyelids, with her soft curves and the golden spill of her hair. You were imagining the soft swell of her breast as you held her against you..."

Blushing, Raoul looked away. "You go too far in your description, Monsieur."

The voice ignored him, "...and not of the flat, boyish plains that she presents to the audience? Not the hollowed cheek and narrow hips of a boy that the music would tell us she currently possesses."

"Of course." Raoul continued to look at the far corner of the box, away from the voice, his back stiff, arms folded across his chest, head angled slightly upward. The music, while still definitely present, was lost to him now. His focus had shifted to the battle with the voice. "Christine is a beautiful woman and that is what gives her the attractiveness she has on stage. The pretence at masculinity only helps to showcase her theatrical talents."

"Indeed? So if there were only Sièbel, and not Christine at all, you would not feel anything at all for him?" The voice sounded at once both amused and slightly chiding. "It's a very fickle thing then, your love."

"No angel," Raoul informed the voice dryly, "would suggest that the physical attraction between two men that you suggest is anything like the attraction between a man and a woman. It is well known that the intellectual and emotional bond between men surpasses any relationship between the two sexes, but that physically, women were made for men and men were made for women." He turned back to the empty seat next to him and mustered his most contemptuous look, reigning in his flaring temper enough to keep his volume down. "You've exposed yourself as a cheat, Monsieur. Propriety demands you quit the charade all together and leave both Mme. Daèe and myself alone."

"You," the voice informed him, still sounding entirely too calm and entirely too sure of itself, "have no place speaking to me of propriety, Monsieur." There was an odd whisper of sound next to him, like the finest silk brushing the velvet, and when the voice next spoke it was moving over to the railing, leaning over and looking down on the stage. "Christine isn't there right now, Monsieur. That on the stage is not a woman at all. She has become Sièbel, given herself completely to her role and her art. If you were to go down there, to hold her, you would not find a woman in man's clothing. You know that, don't you?" The voice turned and paced around behind the seats, leaning once more, this time to whisper in Raoul's ear. "That's why you always come for Faust, isn't it? Because Faust allows you your little fantasies without the guilt of knowing you're staring at a choir boy. You can lie to yourself and say 'It's Christine, only Christine' while all of the time you know that Christine is not who you're thinking about."

"You, Monsieur, are out of line." Clenching his hands down on the arm rests, Raoul fought the urge to turn and strike out at the presence he could feel bending next to him, because he knew there would be nothing there. The whisper in his ear, so close that he could imagine the brush of lips against his skin, was a trick, and while he didn't understand it, he knew that if he forgot that, his unseen adversary would win.

"You, Monsieur," the voice mimicked, dropping to a throaty purr, "are a fool. You think polite society doesn't see the way you look at her sons in the galleries and on the stair wells. You think she believes you when you bow and make eyes at the women." The voice switched sides, a low murmur that made the temperature in the box seem to rise. "Polite society turns a blind eye because you are one of her own, she encourages you in your delusions, but she sees, Monsieur. Oh yes, she sees. She knows."

Blue eyes slid closed against the darkness. He'd wait it out. The mocking charlatan would get tired, eventually, and leave him in peace. After all, even demons had limited attention spans.

For awhile, it seemed like the ploy would work. Silence fell on the box, although it was a heavy, uneasy silence, and the music started to filter back in. Christine was singing again, her soprano tripping delicately along the notes. He permitted himself to relax in slow increments, ignoring the other presence, until finally he started to drift again on the gentle notes.

It was perfect, until he realized the voice was humming, oh so softly, but humming all the same. When it spoke again, it was still directly in his left ear, the barest of sounds. "He looks lovely, you know, the boy down there singing with Christine's voice. Of course you know've seen him as much as I. Maybe more so." The words were broken in odd intervals, as if the speaker's mouth was engaged in other activities than speaking, and each break was accompanied by the softest of noises, like the breaking of a bubble. It made Raoul's skin twitch uncomfortably and he shifted, tilting his head away from the voice. The voice retaliated by slipping behind him, kneeling so it hovered at the back of his neck, just below the hairline. "Of course, he's not quite the strapping young man you are. No, he's just a touch too thin for that, his face...oh so slightly...too soft. It begs to be stroked, doesn't it? To have your fingers caress the soft down of the cheek, to imagine the razor kissing it as soon as he woke up?"

Raoul shifted again, more irritably this time, leaning forward in the box and crossing his legs. His hands remained wrapped firmly around the armrests as if he could strangle his unseen tormentor by proxy if he just squeezed hard enough. The air in the box was getting stifling.

Once again, persistent as always, the voice followed, slipping around front this time and pushing its way up under his chin like a cat, causing him to bite down a frustrated growl. "Mmmm, but that thinness, leanness perhaps we should say, would make him just right for holding, wouldn't you agree?" The words tickled in his mind, never quite holding still but roving in tightly controlled patterns across his throat, now trailing over one shoulder, now along his collar bone, now dropping a little bit lower. "He'd fit wonderfully against your body, Monsieur, his spine pressing into the soft tissue of your stomach as you spread his legs...took him..."

"You go entirely too far!" Raoul hissed, straightening, preparing to storm from the box. He had had enough.

"Do I?" The words were like a pair of hands reaching out, pushing him back into the velvet seat. "Do I really?" His half standing position put the voice about level with his waist. The firm edge that held him still melted, leaving only that mocking, knowing purr again. "Then why is your face so flushed, Monsieur? Why are your trousers so...ill fitting all of a sudden?" There was another of those pregnant pauses, another soft, undefined noise that sounded decidedly like it belonged in a bedroom. "Sit down, Monsieur. The opera isn't even half finished. Sièbel would be disappointed if you left early."

"It's Christine." Despite his desperate protest, Raoul felt his knees giving way and dropping him, treacherous appendages, back into his seat.

The voice chuckled. It staid curled in his lap, purring up at him. "Liar. You know as well as I do that it's no woman's mouth you are thinking of, caressing between your legs, licking the salt and sweat from your skin."

He closed his eyes again, struggling to breathe in the too close darkness.

"It's not the sweet curves of a women's derrière you can feel yourself pushing against, burying yourself in."

He threw his head back, banging it lightly on the sturdy wooden frame of the chair, trying to distract himself and his treasonous body.

"Admit it, Monsieur. It's only the two of us here. Polite society, she's not watching. She knows, but right now, she doesn't care that you want the boy on the stage."

He bit back a moan, shifting sporadically, trying to dislodge the disembodied voice from his lap and lessen the discomfort of his drawers.

"How sweet would it be, Monsieur, to sit with him here in the dark of this box, clothing undone, to let him touch you and tease you and taste you and to taste him back? How sweet would it be to listen to him moan out your name?" There was another pause, the world waiting on the brink of something, the music hovering on a high note before dropping off to the next register. "And how would you like it, Monsieur, if the boy's voice was mine?"

His body convulsed, his fingers white knuckled against the chair arms. His lower lip found itself sucked between his teeth and then split on their edge as he fought to keep himself silent, unobtrusive, not to disrupt the music cast spell on the people around him. The world went red, then black, then slowly cooled as his muscles went limp and the dark reached out to claim him again.

The voice whispered on its way out of the box. "You're fooling no one, Monsieur...not even yourself."

He sat for a long, still moment in the darkness, regaining his breath. Slowly his fingers uncurled themselves, slid up across his chest to tighten across his arms. He slowly slid into a fetal position, head rested on his knees, breathing in the damp, warm scent of his own body. The music from the stage reached up once more, touched his cheek, stroked his hair, and he whispered to the absent voice, "Liar."

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